Conductor Loses Passport - and Loses Gig

Classic Arts News   Conductor Loses Passport - and Loses Gig
Richard Bradshaw, the British conductor who is general director of Canadian Opera Company, won't be able to make his engagements this weekend in Budapest: he has found himself stranded in London without a passport.

He had been scheduled to conduct two concert performances of Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco, tomorrow and Sunday (June 17), at the Italian Cultural Institute in the Hungarian capital.

Unfortunately, Bradshaw discovered that he had misplaced his passport last Friday morning (June 8), and has been unable to obtain a replacement passport in time. (While Great Britain and Hungary are members of the European Union, both nations require arriving international air passengers to present passports as identification.)

According to a press release circulated by Canadian Opera Company about the situation, "Despite exhausting every possible resource, Mr. Bradshaw has received little to no assistance from the British Identity and Passport Service, which refuses to grant him an emergency 24-hour passport."

A representative of Canadian Opera Company, asked by PlaybillArts if the U.K. authorities had given a particular reason for denying Bradshaw's passport request or if the process simply required more time than remained before Bradshaw's concerts, replied, "They were uncooperative in the matter. There certainly is a 24-hour emergency passport that could have been issued, but it appears that they felt it was not an 'emergency' situation."

No replacement conductor has yet been announced; Bradshaw's name is still listed on the ICI-Budapest website. Performing will be the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra and a largely Hungarian cast headed by soprano Eszter S‹megi as Joan of Arc.

"I am deeply regretful for this unfortunate situation," said Bradshaw in the COC statement. "My experience in dealing with the British Identity and Passport Service has left me feeling extremely disappointed, frustrated and disheartened. I extend my apologies to the Hungarian public and hope to return soon to perform in Budapest."

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